The rules governing - hostile and friendly - takeover attempts are a frequent topic of discussion. What makes such battles interesting is that a company can be the prey in one situation and the hunter in another. As a result, this ‘eat or be eaten’ dilemma is always high on an executive board’s strategic agenda.
Different stakeholders often have different interests when it comes to takeovers, which regularly results in disputes. Jan Willem de Groot, corporate litigation partner at Houthoff, represents both companies and shareholders at one of the most critical moments they can experience: actual or potential disputes relating to mergers and acquisitions.
Jan Willem often litigates before the Enterprise Chamber in cases concerning the question on who decides when it comes to a company’s continued existence and direction.
It is an issue that generates both interest in, and criticism of, the legal framework. According to Jan Willem de Groot, such criticism is unjustified: "The rules governing acquisitions don’t need to be changed, but it’s very important that the game is played professionally. Ultimately, a balance must be struck between all of the various interests, which is why it’s important for lawyers to be able to have a comprehensive understanding of the business case.”
That sets the bar very high for lawyers. Litigation before the Enterprise Chamber requires a specific level of expertise.